(Reuters) – Moody’s said on Friday it has put its credit ratings of Russia and Ukraine on review for a downgrade, after Moscow invaded the neighboring country in what is the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two.
Russia currently has an investment grade rating of “Baa3” and a downgrade will lower its rating to “junk” status.
Fitch on Friday downgraded Ukraine’s sovereign rating by three notches to “CCC” from “B”, pushing it deeper into “junk” territory.
The invasion triggered sanctions from the United States and its European allies against some of Russia’s top banks, military exports and members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
There are “serious concerns” around Russia’s ability to manage the disruptive impact of new sanctions on its economy, public finances and financial system, Moody’s said.
Ukraine has a “B3” rating and Moody’s said an extensive conflict could pose a risk to the government’s liquidity and external positions, given the country’s sizeable external maturities in the coming years and the reliance of its economy on foreign-currency funding.
The Russian central bank beefed-up its banking sector with billions in additional foreign exchange and rouble liquidity and eased a number of requirements, while the government has separately pledged a full-scale support to the sanctions-hit companies.
Both the central bank and the government said that the financial stability of Russia’s 300-wide banking sector will be further maintained, should additional tools be required.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could cause a spate of credit rating downgrades, S&P Global said on Friday, warning the global economy, and Europe especially, now faced a starkly different picture than expected this year.
(Reporting by Mehr Bedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Maju Samuel)